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Thursday, December 11, 2025
Speaker:  Jennifer Ackerman – “What an Owl Knows”

For millennia, owls have captivated and intrigued us. Our fascination with these mysterious birds was first documented more than 30,000 years ago in the Chauvet Cave paintings in southern France. With their forward gaze and quiet flight, owls are often a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and foresight. But what does an owl really know? And what do we really know about owls? Scientists have only recently begun to understand in deep detail the complex nature of these extraordinary birds. Some 260 species of owls exist today, and they reside on every continent except Antarctica, but they are far more difficult to find and study than other birds because they are cryptic, camouflaged, and mostly active in the dark of night. Join Jennifer in a multimedia presentation on what we have learned lately about the nature of the world’s most enigmatic birds. With remarkable photos, videos, and audio recordings, Jennifer explores the rich biology and natural history of owls and examines remarkable new scientific discoveries about their brains and behavior.

Award-winning science writer and speaker Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about nature and science for more than three decades. She is the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestsellers, The Genius of Birds (Penguin Press, 2016) and What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds (Penguin Press, June 2023), which was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2023.
Jennifer’s previous books include The Bird Way (2020)which won the 2021 Whitley Book Award and was a finalist for the 2021 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. It was named a Nature Book of the Year by the London Sunday Times. Her book on bird intelligence, The Genius of Birds, was a finalist for the 2017 National Academies Communication Book Award and was named one of the ten best nonfiction books of 2016 by the Wall Street Journal. It has been published in 28 languages.
Jennifer was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2024. She is also the recipient of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College (now the Radcliffe Institute), Brown College at the University of Virginia, and the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.
Note: Photo taken by Sofia Runarsdotter

Look for the Zoom link in your email a few days prior to the meeting. The Zoom Room will open at 6:45 PM.  Don’t wait until the last minute to sign on, you might be left out!

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